SUPPORT OUR JOURNALISM: Please consider donating to keep our website running and free for all - thank you!

The Cambridges

The Duchess of Cambridge reveals 5 Big Questions results


Photo: Kensington Palace

The Duchess of Cambridge has unveiled the five major insights into her landmark 5 Big Questions survey which will inform her work with early years and development.

Kate commissioned a survey, 5 Big Questions on the Under 5s, with Ipsos Mori, one of the leading market research companies in the world, back in January to discover key areas within the early years’ sector and probe parents and carers to highlight issues pertaining to raising the next generation.

On Friday, Kate will deliver a keynote speech at the Early Years Forum, organised by the Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, to offer insight into what the United Kingdom thinks about the early years as a result of the survey.

The Duchess is expected to say: “Over the last decade I have met people from all walks of life. I have seen that experiences such as homelessness, addiction and poor mental health are often grounded in a difficult childhood.

“But I have also seen how positive protective factors in the early years can play a crucial role in shaping our futures. The early years are not simply about how we raise our children. They are, in fact, about how we raise the next generation of adults. They are about the society we will become.”

Photo: Kensington Palace

On Monday, Kate released a video sharing that as a result of the 5 Big Questions survey, five big insights came out of the findings. The Royal Foundation released State of the Nation: Understanding Public Attitudes to the Early Years, an executive summary of the findings early Friday morning.

The insights are that “people overwhelmingly believe that a child’s future is not pre-determined at birth,” that “the reality of life makes it hard for parents to prioritise their wellbeing,” that “feeling judged by others can make a bad situation worse,” that “the COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically increased parental loneliness,” and that “in the face of adversity, support from local communities has substantially increased for many – but not for all.”

The executive summary concluded that there are three key themes that emerged out of the data: “The importance of promoting education and dissemination of evidence on the primacy of the early years to parents, parents of the future and the whole of society… the need to cultivate and sustain more support networks for parents to enhance their mental health and wellbeing…[and] encouraging society as a whole be more supportive of parents, carers and families in the early years.”

Photo: Kensington Palace

The 5 Big Questions survey resulted in further research to flesh out the findings, and an additional survey was conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic to hear about the impact of the pandemic on families.

It also includes further qualitative and ethnographic research, a nationally representative survey conducted before the pandemic and a survey on the impact of COVID-19 on families.

About author

Jess is the Senior Royal Reporter and Editorial Assistant at Royal Central. Her interest in royalty started in her teenage years, coinciding with The Queen's Golden Jubilee in 2002 and grew from there. She specializes in the British Royal Family (with emphasis on the Cambridges) and the Danish Royal Family, and has provided royal commentary for media outlets in Canada, the United States, the UK and Australia.